Friday, November 21, 2014


Back amongst the living...still a bit stuffy, but much better.  Two days off work (well two half days and one whole day) and feeling better.  

Of course, now 2nd Man is getting sick...sigh.  I guess better to get it out of the way now before the holidays (as long as his doesn't lead into Thanksgiving).

Thank you all for your kind words, I'll catch up on comments this weekend...

...because it looks like we'll be having some nasty weather!  The city of Houston is even sending out alerts that we could have large hail, high winds, torrential rain, and of course, tornadoes.  Yikes!  They don't usually give these kinds of warnings, which is why this is so odd.  We've already had a 1/2" of rain over the last two days, which is nice and slow, but they are saying upwards of 3" or 4" in just a few hours.  Still it IS the unpredictable nature of the weather...

...because it could also be... skies and sunshine?

We'll see soon enough!


Thank you!  Sometime yesterday, "Susan" became the 500th follower of our blog, or "Friend of the Farm" as we like to call you all.  I remember the early days when we would get one or two.  Then it was ten and twenty and it's slowly gone up from there.  Now we're at 500.  Yay!

It's a slow but steady journey and we are grateful that others find it interesting enough to want to follow.  Thanks for coming along on the ride.   

How many people can say that they have 500 friends?  

We can!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later...

...scratchy throat...stuffy nose...coughing...general malaise...
I came home early yesterday and today I'm staying home from work. 

Feeling a bit better, but still need to rest so I don't undo the good I've already done by resting and taking my medicine.

Yellow Wildflower
But hey, when we don't feel good, don't flowers make us feel a bit better?  So I'll share this yellow wildflower I photographed at the farm.  
Yellow always makes me smile...

Stay healthy this season!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We have recently found the perfect tapered candles.  Now we know of course, that not everyone has a Trader Joe's nearby but if you do, or know someone near one, these come very highly recommended.  They are usually only available at this time of year.

Trader Joe's candles
They are simply called..."EIGHT CANDLES".  As the name implies, it is a package of eight candles, these being a cream color (they also have white).  They are dripless and self-extinguishing.  We are always doubtful of dripless but imagine our surprise when we lit a few for a dinner recently and they burned about 7 hours without any drips.  We lit them about 6pm and at 1am, they were almost gone...not a single drip in all that time.  Did they self extinguish?  Yep, we actually watched two of them burn down almost to the bottom and then the flames just went out.  Fascinating to say the least.

Side note, NEVER leave a burning candle unattended!

They come from the Czech Republic and the wicks attach them in pairs (simply cut the wicks to the desired length).  Best of all, they are low priced!  These eight candles were less than $3.00 package...or about 35 cents each!

Candles are always nice to have around; they are nice for ambiance, they are great alternatives to electric light, and of course they are great as backup light in an emergency.  That makes them great additions to your box of preps.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I mentioned recently that 2nd Family's "R" took a brush hog and a tractor and cleared some new areas on our property.  So last weekend, before the cold settled in this weekend, I decided to explore the new spots.  

I was just casually walking along when I found this tree:

Update:  It's a Persimmon tree
It was COVERED in fruit.  

Now granted, we couldn't eat any of it because it stayed on there past what we would presume is harvest season and shriveled up and went bad.  Apparently this is when they ARE edible.  Thanks for that info.  Hey, it's a wild fruit tree of some sort!  It's in a spot on the property that no one has been able to get to for probably twenty years or more.  Being Fall, all the leaves have already dropped off so it was so clearly visible and neat to see.

Update: Persimmons on a tree
I smashed one open and this is what it looked like.  There seemed to be two or maybe three seeds inside, they were elongated.  I didn't notice an identifiable smell but it did smell sweet.  These are growing without any human intervention, including watering.  They are growing near a wet area of the property, a kind of natural pond site, so the roots are probably able to get plenty of water.  They obviously survived during the great drought of 2011.

UPDATE: Persimmon!
The best part of all?  There was another tree, just like this one, with the same kinds of fruit on it, and it was at least 30 or 40 feet tall!  We love the thought of some naturally occurring fruit tree on our property that we can harvest from but before we start Googling recipes, we need to see what it is. 

SO...anyone hazard to guess what fruit this might be?
And if you do know, any good ideas for its use?

UPDATE:  THANK YOU all for the ID, we need to learn our wild foraging identification, LOL.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Yep, it's been two of those days...

Hope your weekend was better...


Our Food is Fighting, vintage poster image
First of all, this poster image comes courtesy of a very kind reader who sent us an email with a bunch of poster images attachments.  I'll scatter them around in posts in the coming weeks.  So we want to say a big thank you to her for thinking of us when she saw them!

This one is really neat..."Where our Men are Fighting, our Food is Fighting".  That totally makes sense as the Government was very forward in connecting conservation at home to the war effort.  But we think the words at the bottom are so appropriate today...

Buy Wisely...Cook Carefully...Store Carefully...Use Leftovers

True words then, and truer words today.  There is just so much waste in our society, especially when it comes to food, it would be nice to see these kinds of messages around today.

More later this afternoon!  
It's been a cold and wet weekend...ugh.

Friday, November 14, 2014


When we went to vote earlier this month, this was in the flower bed outside of the location where we went.  It was SO pretty in person...

Hundreds and hundreds of marigolds.  So pretty and cheerful and in this cold weather, it will be awhile before can have these now. I know marigolds are good deterrents for bugs, so this is inspiring me to think of some flower beds around the garden area where I could plants a bunch of them next year and add color and deter pests.  Always good to start planning now.

Kind of crazy to think that these were gorgeous and in bloom just ten days ago, now we are down in the 20's!  With the weather this weekend...

...we're thinking we'll just stay in town and run some errands.  It will just be cold and wet and that's never a fun combination.  Hopefully with the farmhouse being cold, no creatures will seek refuge while we aren't there. 

If you are in the United States, there's a pretty good chance you are experiencing the "Polar Vortex", so stay warm!  If you are anywhere else, be glad you aren't here experiencing this!


Hobart the cat, wanting a hug
Hobart, being silly.  Sometimes when he's sleeping on his back and we stand over him and say his name, he stretches out his front "arms" and just looks up at us.  It really does look like he wants to give us a hug.  

Hope you all get lots of hugs today! 

More later this afternoon!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


For today's inspiration post, we're going across the pond to Europe...

Colorful European beehives, image courtesy of
With the cold and snowy Winter weather settling in over much of our country, I wanted to find a Winter-ish picture.  OK, we will never EVER have this kind of weather in these parts (light snow, once in a blue moon, but heavy snow, never).  Still, I just couldn't resist this picture.  These are BEEHIVES in Europe.  They are so pretty, lined up and painted such vibrant colors.  I'm sure they are neat looking in the Spring but in this Winter setting, they are just so beautiful.  If anything, maybe it can inspire color in landscaping by painting outdoor accessories and furniture in colors.  

For us, it kind of inspires me to want to paint our beehives (coming soon by the way), a fun color (with safe paint of course).  We probably won't end up painting them, they'll most likely stay white, but it's still fun to see.

Be inspired! (or is that BEE inspired?)